As a passionate watch enthusiast, one of the greatest pleasures is to dream up watches that brands should produce and discuss these dreams with other collectors. It may sound egoistic, but wouldn’t it be nice if luxury watch manufacturers would listen and produce the watches of their customers’ dreams?
In this series of articles, we will speculate and dream a bit about what we would love to see from watch manufacturers.
You have to admit, some brands have done a really fantastic job with this lately; for example, Rolex’s new Daytona (even though some wished for a date display or a slightly bigger size), Tudor’s Heritage Black Bay, and most of IWC Schaffhausen‘s latest pilot’s watches. TAG Heuer went even further and asked their customers how they wished the new Autavia to look and it resulted in a fantastic watch.
But there are still many watches yet to be produced that collectors would fall in love with instantly if they were ever to see the light of day.
One of Rolex’s biggest strengths is that they’re always looking ahead to create the best watches possible. Unfortunately, that means they sometimes forget to look back to their great past. Throughout their history, Rolex have produced some of the greatest watches. Since collectors love rare and special timepieces, there are more than a handful of holy grail vintage Rolex that achieve insanely high prices at auction.
Therefore, we believe Rolex should (again) produce three of their special watches:
Rolex Rattrapante Chronograph
A rattrapante chronograph is also known as a double chronograph, which basically explains its function: it can measure two time frames as opposed to one. In 1942, Rolex produced only 12 rattrapante chronographs with Ref. 4113. This already makes it an incredibly special watch, but even more, it’s the only double chronograph they’ve produced to date. Rattrapante chronographs are very difficult to create and are therefore considered a grand complication of fine watchmaking. The watch’s 44-mm diameter was enormous for its time, but makes it more wearable for today’s standards than many of the 35-mm chronographs from other brands. Considering Rolex isn’t known for complicated watches, the combination of all the aforementioned points hint at why one of the 12 vintage pieces recently sold at an auction for over 2 million CHF.
A modern Rolex Rattrapante could be done in two different ways: either an elegant model that looks similar to the original 4113 or a modern model that moves in the direction of the Daytona or the Yachtmaster II. We would prefer an elegant version because that’s also an area where Rolex isn’t as strong, when compared to their sports watches.
Here is our vision of what a modern Rolex Rattrapante could look like. As you can see we tried to stay very close to the original.
Rolex Triple Calendar
As mentioned, Rolex isn’t the strongest manufacturer of complicated or elegant watches. Therefore, we would love to see another example of something Rolex have produced in the past: a triple calendar with day, date, month, and moonphase.
In the 1950s, Rolex created the Ref. 8171 Triple Calendar which is one of only two models the company ever produced with this complication and dial layout. It may not be as rare as the rattrapante above, but it is still one of the greatest and most sought-after vintage watches in the world. It was made in yellow gold, pink gold, and stainless steel with a diameter of 38 mm. With its size and material options, it’s simply a wonderful example of the perfect elegant dress watch that watch collectors love.
Again, here is our idea and wish for how a modern Rolex triple calendar could and should look. Similar to the original, we would love a classic layout with the two-window display on the top of the dial and a moonphase at 3 o’clock. The only significant change that we would like to see is a date display around the moonphase subdial to make the dial even more clean and simple.
Rolex Submariner with white dial
You could either write several large books about the Submariner or not say much about the most famous watch in the world; we’ll stick with the simpler solution.
The Submariner is the most famous modern watch and one of the most admired vintage watches. Also introduced in the 1950s, Rolex have created many series’ and versions of this iconic diving watch and several have legendary status among watch collectors. Words like “double red,” patent pending,” “big crown,” or “Explorer dial” can be confusing, but in short: it’s all about very small details.
Therefore, we have to admit that we also dream of seeing a simple white dialed Rolex Submariner. Even though some may consider it sacrilegious to put a white dial on a diving watch/THE tool watch, we simply like beautiful things.
We can dream, can’t we?
Please let us know in the comments which of the above is your favored and what you would love to see from Rolex and other brands?